How Firms Adapt their Pace of Imitation over the Industry Technology Cycle
This study explores the factors influencing the pace at which firms imitate innovations introduced by competitors, with a specific focus on periods of technological stability and periods of technological transition. We develop a set of hypotheses by integrating theories related to rivalry-based and information-based imitation with the literature on technological change. Analyzing approximately three decades of new product launches in the mobile phone industry, our empirical findings reveal that firms tend to imitate at a slower pace during periods of technological transition when compared to periods of technological stability. Furthermore, we uncover several contingencies that moderate this relationship.